I have a bit of an affinity for this symbolic image.  If through some sort of improbable twist of fate you have never seen it, it comes from Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, with the illustration by John Tenniel.  Linda Goodman considered the Caterpillar to be a Scorpion,  and emphasized his question “Who Are You?”  Being a Scorpion myself with a transcendent nature, the Caterpillar has always been a bit of a totem animal to me personally.


Caterpillar 1


These Caterpillar shirts were completely covered with wax by the end to give the overall psychedelic crackle effect.  I used two color schemes for them.  The yellow, green, black  & red rasta colors, or a pink, blue and purple combination.  With either set of colors I am able to do a one pass through of waxing and color to end up with an excellent creation.


Caterpillar 2

This shirt would look just like the one above it, but the random nature of my art-form demanded something different. The heat set part of the process fritzed the colors out and caused some of the pink to disappear (as if in a puff of smoke).



One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you, don’t do anything at all

Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits, and you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar has given you the call

And call Alice, when she was just small

When the men on the chessboard get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom, and your mind is moving low

Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head, feed your head

– “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane


Caterpillar 3

This last shirt, with the JA on the back was made in the early days of my batik efforts. Jefferson Airplane did their last tour as a collective in 1989 at I made a few of these Caterpillar shirts because of that. It was the beginning of one of my favorite designs to work with.




This stylized JA came from the Jefferson Airplane album Long John Silver. Arguably one of the coolest Album covers ever. The cover folded up into a stash box with the bottom covered with cannabis. Amazing.







One Response to Hookah Smoking Caterpillar Batiks

  1. Kirsten says:

    Since I was 17 I have wanted this Alice in wonderland shirt. The bubble men were my first dream…why not continue dreaming? I’m still chasing rabbits. A hookah smoking caterpillar told me so.

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